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Yesterday I caught the 30 for 30 documentary on the Alabama / Auburn rivalry and it did a pretty good job illustrating how intense it gets. I don't want to give anything away, but there was a few things I learned about the rivarly and they had that nut that poisoned Auburn's trees.
Has anyone ever been to an Iron Bowl? I'm curious how the tailgating scene is at that game, it seems like there has to be some ugly confrontations that go down there.
I lived in Birmingham for a little over a year. I will admit that the people there are rabid fans of one or the other school. There are definitely strong opinions. What I find is that most of that comes from the hard core "old timers". Most of the fan base are uneducated fans that grew up in the same towns and never moved. The graduates of both schools generally move away from their schools for jobs. They are good dedicated fans but most are narrowed in their views and cannot understand anything outside the SEC. I've never gone to the ironbowl but heard its quite the experience. Many of the fans are very much racists. At least they were when I lived there. Experienced it myself over and over with people's comments about others and especially the players from the other team. Certainly do not miss living there but it was a cheap place to live. Its a completely different world then one could imagine. TIFWIW.
thanks for the input storm. i've never seen a game in the south, and the culture shock has prevented me from ever taking an extended trip to any of those schools. gotta appreciate how dedicated the fans are down there tho
A good friend of mine and a die hard Bama fan gave me some insight into BAMA football. He grew up in a little town in Alabama in the 1950's and 60's. Basically, Alabama football was the only big time sports in the entire state. The NFL, MLB and NBA hadn't expanded to the South. No one cared about college baseball or basketball or any other college sports. In most of the South, college football was it. In Alabama, Bama football was No. 1 with Auburn being a distant second.
He told me that when he was a little kid, he used to go down to the local grocery store so he could listen to Alabama football games on one of the few radios in town. This isn't too much different from people in the North Central part of PA who could only listen to PSU football and occasionally go to State College to go to a game. My grandparents had a farm about 30 miles north of Lock Haven - fifty years ago, there was no TV and about the only sports you could get was PSU football.
Of course, Bama and Auburn students are fans, but most of the state was either an Alabama or Auburn fan - just like us in the Northeast were Phillies, Pirates, Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Eagles, Steelers, 76ers, Knicks, Devils, Flyers, Penguins, etc. fans.
Things are changing in the South - lots of new industry and changing values. BMW has a huge facility in Spartanburg, SC. There's a huge VW plant in TN. Most of the big military bases and defense contractors are in the South. Nonetheless, there are still no big time pro teams in Alabama, so the populace still clings to Auburn/Alabama.
Storm, I'd like to know when you lived in Birmingham, because your view is completely different than mine. You make a lot of stereotypical comments that I don't believe are accurate today.
Your comment, "Many of the fans are very much racists." Is way over the top. I won't say there are no racists in Alabama anymore than there are no racists in Pennsylvania. I will say that I have never heard a racist comment from any Alabama or Auburn fan. I heard a lot more racism when I was growing up in Pennsylvania in the 1960's. Time changes a lot. That is the reason I was wondering when you lived in Birmingham.
I've lived in Birmingham for about 15 years and attended over 10 Iron Bowls. The game used to be played at Legion Field in Birmingham and each team got 50% of the tickets (like the Tex-OK game). I only attended one game there and it was really a wild scene. I wish they still played it there.
Now the game is played at each school, and the visitors get a typical vistors allocation of seats - maybe 7,500 or so. I know quite a few fans on both sides who refuse to go to the other school for games because they don't want to spend any money there. There is real hatred. You get a sense for the dislike if you listen to the Paul Finebaum radio show.
I have never seen any physical confrontations at any of the games. The fans mostly ignore each other. The negative comments about the other group are usually limited to when you get a group of fans together from one school talking about the other. The Alabama fans look down their noses at the Auburn fans. The Auburn fans are mostly jealous and resentful of Alabama.
The Penn State fans who visited Birmingham & Tuscaloosa three seasons ago should be able to comment on their experience.
Thank you, MarcusHook. I just read the other post, and while we all have a way to go, this is not the 1963 version of Alabama, and thank God Almighty for that.
Again, thank you.
I've tried listening to that show to fill the void of listening to espn radio at work, and it was impossible bc most of the people who went on that show would be so angry and have ignorant comments. Of course PSU was the topic way too many times too and had to do away with sports radio all together..
99.999 percent of Alabama fans think that show is for only COMICAL relief...
I went to the PSU-Bama game in Tuscaloosa a few years ago. The campus was beautiful. The people were nice during the tailgating. We had some good conversations. But some fake the whole southern hospitality bit. Kid sitting with parents behind us during the game was doing the whole southern hospitality bit and then when a PSU player got injured he blurted out something like "Good....I hope he doesn't get up."
After the game, as we walked back to our hotel because we couldn't get a cab, we were taunted/yelled at by multiple groups of Bama fans. One truckload (yes, there were dozens of trucks with truckbeds filled with people) of "fans" tried to start a fight with us. A minivan with two shady characters followed us through a parking lot and another truckload of "fans" threw a lit cigarette butt at us. So it was quite the dichotomy. The ahole "fans" were probably thug locals that never even sniffed the inside of a 'Bama classroom (i.e. not alums). Tuscaloosa the city seemed like a dump to me. So although the campus was nice and the alums are classy, I have no desire to ever return to Tuscaloosa.
Agree. If it was sooooo bad why do blacks go to school their? Things have changed for the best and will continue to change. I live in Colorado and many people use to question me about racist in Bama but thought nothing about calling Mexicans everything under the sun!
Probably the "T-shirt" fans because they can be very rude. Alum's are usually nice. When I wear my PSU gear home I get comments as well and they are very surprised when I open my mouth and my Bama accent comes out! I just give them a We Are and move on...
This post was edited by Colorado Lion 15 months ago
If you ever need a great laugh, go to a Bama or Auburn board the week before the Iron Bowl. You'll DIE laughin your azz off. Can't believe there's a more intense rivalry anywhere.
Took my 11 year old son to Tuscaloosa and we went to the game with 10 work colleagues from Mobile. Had a great time and the Bama fans were wonderful, kind and courteous. It rained right before the game for a half hour, my son and I went into the game a bit early to soak up the atmosphere. We where about to sit down in our seats and a 40 ish old woman yells down for us to stop. She comes down about 4 rows and drys off our seat and says to us that Bama fans take care of their guests. My son and I had great conversations with our seat neighbors at the game. I hope PSU fans treated Bama visitors as well as we were treated the following year.
I also remember that Saban asked Bama fans not to boo the intro of PSU and Joe Pa. To make sure that did not happen he arranged that PSU and Bama entered the stadium at the same time. Penn State and Joe were shown all kind of respect by Bama. I am sure if we were part of the SEC that would be different but Penn State has an lot of love from Bama fans.
Hook, I lived in Birmingham in the early 90's. I can give you many examples of the racism that I witnessed back then. I worked in the beverage industry and dealt with all kinds of customers in the distributor world including c-store, grocery, etc. probably more vocal because the teams did not enjoy their typical success. There "was" constant chatter about athletes, coaches, and other SEC teams. I'm glad to hear you didn't have the same experiences but it definitely exists and i remember it well. Probably doesn't help that one of the southern HQ's for the skinheads is just south of Alabaster, Al. You can see their nazi flag from I-65. Anyway, hopefully things have gotten much better!!
I have never seen a Nazi flag anywhere in Alabama. Perhaps you are confusing it with the confederate flag that flis at a confederate memorial along I-65.
I had a wonderful time when I went to the game in Tuscaloosa and had only positive interactions with Alabama fans. But I think it's naive to argue racism isn't more prevalent in the south. I interviewed at several places in the south 8-10 years ago (not in Alabama, however) and in my experience, the difference was that racism was not exclusive to the poorly educated in the south.
“We need to keep this (expletive) together,” Mauti and Zordich to Hill
Sorry, I was being sarcastic about the flag.
When Alabama played us in Happy Valley in 2011, I had some pretty good conversations with Bama fans in Paternoville. When we asked them what NFL team they rooted for, many of them looked at us with a blank stare like they could care less about the NFL... one replied, "The Falcons I guess... because that's where a lot of Alabama's players end up"
"On paper they have nothing to play for– no bowl games, rankings, or championships– yet they play like they have everything on the line."
The NFL is hangover football from Saturday’s games!
Its Alabama, its race day on Sunday.
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